Delphina Pierandri, ‘best of Ridgefield’

Delphina Eleanora (Giardini) Pierandri, a 102 year-old Ridgefield native, died Monday, January 2, in home on Prospect Street where she lived for 93 years.  She was born in Ridgefield on September 2,, 1914 and was the oldest of three children. (Her sister, Trieste and brother, Dino predeceased her.) Born to Gaetano and Theresa Cecchini Giardini who emigrated from Italy, she was the last living member of the Ridgefield High School Class of 1932 from which she graduated.

Married to the late Dwino Thomas “Peeps” Pierandri in November 1939, she was mother to Elaine Kelemen, Sandra (Ron) Mosiello, Harry (Jackie) Pierandri and John (Mary) Pierandri. She is survived by 12 of her 13 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Pierandri was well known for her passion and talent for quilting which she continued to do well into her 90’s. She made quilts for all of her children, as well as numerous other family members. A wool quilt she and fellow quilters worked on at her house, now sits on one of the beds at Keeler Tavern.  

On her 90th birthday she hosted a party for over one hundred guests and family and friends paid homage to her talent with a display of all the quilts she made for them. They then presented her with a quilt they created for her. She was among the founding members of the Founders Hall quilting club, as well as, “Ladies of the Evening,” a homegrown quilting group made up of many long time friends.

As a young woman Mrs. Pierandri took pride in working at the Elms Inn from the time she was 14 until 1940 and instilled that work ethic in her family. She loved spending time with her children and their families, cooking homemade pasta and hosting a yearly Christmas Eve feast for everyone, no matter how large the family grew. One of her favorite pastimes in later years was to tell Ridgefield stories to her grandchildren, which she would always end with the wave of a hand and the phrase, “It’s all in a lifetime.”

Mrs. Pierandri was also a member of St. Mary’s Church, the Italian American Mutual Aid Society Women’s Auxiliary, and the Nutmeg Quilters. She was an avid sports fan and rarely missed watching UConn women’s basketball. She was a member of the infamous “Girls Club,” an exclusive women’s group who met for “cards,” until most passed on. These were the women who knew all the town stories and they often laughingly said, they’d keep their secrets ’til the grave.  Mrs. Pierandri shared her town knowledge by helping to catalogue the Hartmann photograph collection for the Ridgefield Historical Society.

At her 100th birthday party, the family set up a tent in the yard and well wishers came in droves to honor the woman who epitomized Ridgefield. First Selectman Rudy Marconi, who grew up across the street from the Pierandri family, said at her birthday tribute, “If there are individuals who represent the best of what Ridgefield was and what it continues to be today, they’re like Del Pierandri.”

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 9, at 10:15 a.m. in St. Mary Church, Ridgefield. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield.  

The family will receive friends at the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield on Sunday, Jan. 8, from 2 to 4.

Memorial contributions may be made to Founders Hall, 193 Danbury Road, Ridgefield, 06877.